As Some of you may or may not know, I've taught an online class about how to run your own Sewing Camps through Pixie Faire (where I sell my doll patterns), for the last two years. I built the course so that other people could have success teaching kids how to sew. And over the last couple of years, I've learned a LOT about the whole process - Developing a course, producing the modules, marketing, dealing with feedback (good and bad) and what to do about it, learning how to solicit good reviews and MORE (of course). Over the last couple of weeks I've done two video interviews, started a new Facebook page and have begun to put together my first course off-shoot that I will call - Mood Board Masterclass. More on that later., but needless to say, I've been busy working to launch this class again in October.
Well, I'm coming up on my 3rd round of this class and for the first time, in a while, I'm super excited about it. The thing I've learned/explored the most is WHY I created this course in the first place. And that WHY is really important and dear to my heart - I want our children (The Next Generation of Humans) to REALLY understand how clothing gets made and the only true way to do that is through making your own clothes and/or by visiting a factory. In this world of FAST FASHION, we are all getting used to buying clothing for cheap, we get tired of them and we throw them out. The value of our clothing and the work that went into them, has been severely diminished. This is contributing to enormous amounts of pollution (and garbage) all over the world as well as a consumerism that is totally unsustainable - with both financial and ecological consequences. But if you are reading my blog you might be aware of some of these issues already AND you are likely already sewing, mending and creating your own clothing, maybe even using vintage materials. Am I right?
I won't stand up on that soap box for too long, because, I would rather be sewing, BUT, if you want to know more about what the fashion industry is doing to perpetuate this circle of destructive behavior, I recommend watching the film, THE TRUE COST. You can stream it on Netflix and it's definitely worth a watch. We can all do more and buy less, but my own personal solution to the sustainability-in-fashion issue, is to teach kids how to sew.
Teaching sewing to kids was not really what I had in mind for a Fashion Career, but after working in the corporate world as a technical designer and also having my own business as a Couture Dressmaker, I wanted to find something in between the two and also something that worked with having a young child at home, and her schedule. When I decided to teach kids, it started small and grew slowly over the course of several years. I began by teaching one child in my home, after school, moved on to renting a room in a cultural center for 8 kids at a time and then building a camp business as well. And, I had been teaching at the college level, simultaneously. I think that is what, ultimately, gave me the confidence to teach younger children.
I decided to come at it from a Fashion perspective, because that was what I had always been interested in, from a very young age. As it turns out, that was a particularly successful way to approach working with young people (primarily girls ages 8-13). My FASHION camps have been filling up regularly and sometimes with substantial wait-lists. I've considered expanding and hiring more teachers, but the reality is, managing more people (for me) means managing more of everything (money, space, materials, students etc.) and it really takes away from my time behind the sewing machine. So what could I do to spread the word (my word is that Kids/People need to learn how to sew)? I can't teach ALL OF THE CHILDREN. But I can teach some and I know how to make it FUN for them and how to make it work for YOU.
That's right! if you know how to sew, I would encourage you to teach a kid how to do it. At the very least, teach your neighbor; it doesn't have to be a kid. You might like it, and they might too and hey, we are that much closer to a better understanding behind the making of Fashion.
If you are at all interested in learning how to teach your own sewing camps for kids, like I do, head on over to Pixie Faire to learn more about the course or watch the video interview we did about the course on the Pixie Faire Facebook page. In addition to all the course materials, students will have direct access to ME via the Sewing Camp Power private Facebook group, where they can pick my brain and I can coach them on the parts of the process they need help with. So excited!!!!
I'll be getting back to my regularly scheduled activities next week and I cannot wait to connect with you more, about #ALLTHETHINGS I've been working on in my sewing practice. Until then, Happy Sewing!